UCF vs. Florida 2021 Gasparilla Bowl Odds, Preview & Pick
The Mizzou Tigers can make up for a disappointing season on Wednesday when they take on the Army Black Knights in the annual Armed Forces Bowl. Missouri had such a bad season that the Black Knights head into the matchup a -6.5 chalk. Will Army live up to the favorite moniker? Or will the Tigers remind everyone how they play football in the SEC? Check out the latest College Football odds, analysis, and a free pick for Missouri vs. Army.
UCF vs. Florida 2021 Gasparilla Bowl Game Information
- When: Thursday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 pm ET
- Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: 96.9 The Game (UCF) / ESPN 98.1 FM (Florida)
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- College Football Odds: UCF (+7) / Florida (-7)
Why Bet on the UCF Knights?
Mahlzahn has always been known as a run first coach. While at Auburn, Malzahn’s offense used change of direction and offensive line movement to get their running backs into the open field. At UCF, the former SEC coach has installed the same type of system. RB1 Johnny Richardson leads an attack that averages 189 yards per. But although the Knights prefer to rush, they can throw the ball as well.
Mikey Keene, who filled in for injured Dillon Gabriel, threw for 1,586 yards and had a 16-to-6 TD-to-INT ratio. In Central Florida’s last 5 games, where UCF won 4-of-5, Keene threw a combined 11 touchdowns and just a single pick.
Central Florida’s D isn’t a lockdown unit, but it’s not bad. The Knights allow less than 370 total yards per game. Big Kat Bryant leads the team with 6 sacks on the season. UCF wants their opponents to throw the football so Bryant can rush the quarterback.
Sometimes, the Knights are so desperate to get to the quarterback that they end up giving up big yards on the ground. Opponents average over 159 per game rushing the football. UCF did take the ball away 11 times this season, which is close to a takeaway a game.
Why Bet on the Florida Gators?
Quarterback Emory Jones is the main reason the Gators average 470.2 total yards and 31.8 points per game. Jones not only leads the team in passing yards, but he also leads the Gators in rushing yards. Jones has rushed for 696 yards and thrown for 2,562 this season. But although Jones turned out to be the Gators’ most effective player, he lost his starting job to Anthony Richardson against Georgia.
Richardson won’t play in this game. We don’t know if Jones will play although he said he will stay with the team for the bowl game even though he’ll entered the transfer portal.
The Gators have an okay but not great defense. There were moments during the season when Florida truly stepped it up, like holding Florida State to 21 points in the final game.
There were also moments when the Gators failed miserably like allowing South Carolina to score 40 in a blowout loss. Overall, Florida allows 362.2 yards per and 26.6 points each game. One piece of bad news for the defense is that Zachary Carter, who leads the team with 7.5 sacks, won’t play. Carter is preparing for the 2022 NFL Draft.
UCF vs. Florida Betting Trends
- Knights are 2-5 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- UCF is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Under is 8-1-1 in UCF’s last 10 versus the SEC.
- Gators are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games.
- Florida is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- Over is 4-1 in Florida’s last 5 bowl games.
UCF vs. Florida Expert Betting Predictions
Florida’s offense is decent. To be fair, though, the Gators show inflated stats after dropping 70 onto Samford as a -35 chalk in a late regular season game. Without the 70, Florida’s offensive stats wouldn’t be nearly as impressive. Also, Samford scored 52 against the Gators. That’s how poorly Florida played towards the end of the season.
Down the stretch, Florida’s D was horrendous versus the rush. South Carolina ran for 284 yards, Samford rushed for 114, Mizzou rushed for 121, and Florida State rushed for 145. On Wednesday, the Gators face one of the most creative rush calling coaches in college football. Gus Malzahn should have the perfect game plan to exploit Florida’s inability to stop the run. UCF shouldn’t just cover the spread. The Knights should win this bowl straight up.
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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.